More configurations (disabling) of the Intel AMT icon. Part 4 in the Intel AMT software series

Hi!
In the previous part of this series (part 1, part 2, part 3), we began describing the Intel AMT software, and the ways in which the Intel AMT System Status can be configured to suit a specific system, network or style.

As we wrote in the past, this application unnoficially goes also by the names of or Intel AMT pop-up or Privacy Icon. But unfortunately it is also called by some people with the name of 'annoying' :(. This may be because a manufacturer set it to 'always popup', or because it displays an error message (see how to fix the error in the previous post)…  But the fact is that it is considered bothersome by a number of users.
For those, this time we'll see how the icon can be minimized, disabled or removed from the system. Just keep in mind the notes at the end of the article, our recommendation is to have it minimized at startup.

Here too, the notes apply:
Note 1: Your systems may use a different folder for the software, change it accordingly where needed.
Note 2: Some modifications include changing values in the registry. While this should be inoffensive when done on the key/values described below, the registry is a dangerous place to tamper. Do it with care and at your own risk. :)
Note 3: The instructions below pertain to versions of the software up to Intel AMT 3.0. Versions 4.0 and on will be discussed in a different post.

    • Minimize the icon on startup
      Your application should appear minimized when Windows loads. The icon will be seen in the notification area, but no other distracting dialog will appear -- until the notification area icon is double clicked.
      This is the best option to go. It keeps the application there in case it is needed, but it is out of the way.The following registry key determines the loading behavior:
      Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Intel\Network_Services\atchk]
      Value: "MinimizePrivacyIconAtStart"=dword:00000001

      Have it set to 00000001 to minimize on start, or 00000000 to have it popup.




    • Disable loading of the application
      If you want the application not to load at all, you can delete it from the startup list, by deleting its value at the following registry setting:
      Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]
      Value: "atchk"="\"C:\\Program Files\\Intel\\AMT Status\\atchk.exe\""

      Delete the value, as below, to prevent the app from loading.
      Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]
      Value: "atchk"=""




    • Disabling the Intel® AMT System Status icon completely
      It was suggested in the past that one of the ways to disable the Intel AMT dialog is by simply telling Windows not to load it, in 'msconfig'. If that's what you want, here's the proper way to do it:
      Run 'msconfig' from the 'Run…' dialog, just go to the 'Services' and 'Startup' tabs and unselect the Intel® AMT System Status Service and the Intel® AMT System Status.

      Just the 2 lines shown in the pictures below (unrelated apps purposely blurred).


      Do not uncheck other Intel services and applications, as they may be of importance to your system's function and performance.



Very Important Note! Pay attention that by disabling the icon on startup or disabling the application and service completely, you take from the transparency and straightforwardness of the system.
Depending on the context, this may also have serious disclosure, privacy and/or legal implications.
Most times the users will be interested to know if the manageability system is performing in their systems. So the recommended option is to set "minimize icon at startup" - in this way, the Intel AMT popup is not intrusive/obtrusive, and the users still have access to up-to-date and transparent system information.

Well, that's it for the System Status icon. A lot of configurations, for such a little application :)
Next times we'll see what are the UNS, LMS and Intel MEI are about -- stay tuned, ask your questions.


Articles in the Intel® AMT software series:




    1. The software bundled with Intel AMT

    1. The notification area icon - understanding the pop-up

    1. Configuring the notification area icon & app

    1. More configurations (disabling) of the Intel AMT icon

    1. Detailed information to the user with the User Notification Service

    1. How the UNS works

    1. UNS Error Messages and how to fix them

    1. Newfangled Intel Management and Security Status

    1. Intel Management and Security Status (IMSS), advanced configurations

    1. Intel AMT software: LMS, HECI, MEI... why do I need those?

    1. Wrapping all Intel AMT software together
For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.

Comments

Hello Danny, thanks for your question!

Where does this error appear? On windows startup? Or before Windows starts loading?
It is weird that the error continues to appear even after you disabled AMT from the BIOS... unless there is more than one place to configure this setting (I am not acquainted with the Lenovo BIOS :( ).

Danny, I recommend you open a post in the ISN forums -- and please state the exact manufacturer and model of your RAM sticks, sometimes it makes a difference.
Link to the Manageability Forums on ISN: http://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/manageability-software-development/

Good luck! :)


Hello,

I have a brand new Lenovo X200 Tablet. It comes pre-setup with the Intel AMT software/services/firmware. I noticed that when using the original 2x1gb ram sticks, or one of my new 2gb RAM sticks, there are no errors. However, when I install all 4 gigs of my new RAM I get an error message from Intel AMT which is : ME - BIOS Sync Error. I doubt I will need this AMT software on my computer although I haven't found much of anything as far as how it applies to a personal end user and not a business who may need remote bootup/fomatting/etc. IIRC by disabling the AMT from the BIOS I still get the error, so I would rather simply remove it.


Hi Kylezo!
I'll try to answer your post in three unrelated parts:

1) OEM software. New systems usually come preinstalled with OEM software (like your ActivClient apps). While these are intended to facilitate use of a specific device (or to increase security, stability or ease of configuration), they can annoy users at times. Not everyone wants to remove them, but many power-users prefer they systems 'clean', using alternative solutions.
Glad you managed to solve this part of your problem.

2) Drivers.
When you remove a driver suite through Add/Remove Programs, it will uninstall the apps, docs and drivers included, you are right.
But this will not wipe the driver files from the rest of your computer :). If you have the drivers in a folder in your computer (or in a recovery CD), you can still point the Windows Device Manager to the location and install only the drivers (usually *.inf or *.sys) of the devices.
I am not acquainted with the SotfPack, but probably looking at the files it include (maybe compresssed?) will show you the drivers.
It will work for Intel AMT drivers too: Both the SOL and the MEI driver can be installed without accompanying apps (* see note at the end).

3) Intel AMT.
In order to disable Intel AMT completely, you can enter your BIOS setup and look for an Intel AMT menu (not always existent, but many BIOS present it). If you find it, you can simply 'disable' Intel AMT, its devices and features.

(* note): Be aware that you will be missing any important features these apps provide: privacy, connectivity etc. But since you say you are not using any of Intel AMT features, then it may not matter :)

Please let know if you need any more help!


I'm sorry, this is a total re-post, please forgive me for spamming, but I accidentally posted my original response in a 2 year old entry :S

Ok I hate to open this can of worms, but I am a non-business oriented end-user and I want to completely remove AMT functionality from my computer, including all associated software, processes, services, etc. I uninstalled everything but then everytime I start the machine up I get a "Found New Hardware" installation wizard. So I tried to disable the devices in question (PCI Simple Communication Controller PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2A44 - Intel Management Engine Interface and PCI Serial Port PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2A47 - Active Management Technology - SOL [Serial Over Lan]) and the prompt still came up each startup. So I went looking for the drivers only for these 2 devices and HP Business Support linked me to a 'SoftPaq' that included all the software and services (I should have guessed, even though I explicitly asked them if this included the software and services and they said no). Of course, it also included the drivers.

So, I am back to square one (ok well, not really, the REALLY hard part was removing all that ActivClient crapware from my machine). Any advice on how to get this off my computer completely? Installing the device drivers would be fine if it didn't come with all the software and services.

As it stands, with HP support, my case has been 'escalated' to a Supervisor and I should expect a call within the next 24-48 hours.

So, any ideas with this?

Thanks,
Kyle


Hi Ryan.
Intel AMT 5.0 is not yet available on stores... so you would have Intel AMT 5.0 only in internal Intel labs.

For Intel AMT versions up to 3.2, the instructions above will work.
For the newer version of the pop-up available in newer AMT versions, the instructions will be slightly different (the new application has many new cool ways to be configured). I can not discuss the software in this medium yet, as it was not released -- if you work at an Intel lab, please write me by mail and I'll be happy to help.
Anyway, as Intel AMT 4.0 is soon to be seen at stores, I'll post an article on how to configure it anyday now.

:)
Shmuel


How do you turn off the pop up when someone logs in for the first time? I want to keep the icon in the system tray, but want to disable the pop up on multiple machines. I have AMT 5.0.